One of my favorite parts about fall is pumpkins. One of my favorite parts about pumpkins is the slimy guts. Ok not really. Just wanted to see if you were listening. One of my favorite parts about pumpkins is the pumpkin seeds. It took me a few years to actually like them, but now I can’t seem to get enough. This year, we bought many pumpkins. Many. And it may, or may not be because I wanted the seeds. 😉
Pumpkin seeds are simple to make, and delicious to eat. There are quite a few ways to make them, too. I like the simple ‘dash of salt’ flavor, while other nights we use a bit of cinnamon and sugar instead. Either way…Delicious!!
Seeds from a pumpkin
Sprinkle of salt (about 1 TBL .)
*Preheat oven to 300*.
*Toss seeds in a strainer, ‘swirling’ around under a stream of water. (This helps get all the slimy pumpkin flesh off. Not sure why, but it clumps together making it easier to dispose of.)
*Once seeds clean, spread them on a cloth to dry. (If you don’t want to let them dry out a bit, go ahead and skip this step and move right on to the next.)
*Spread seeds in a single layer on a sprayed baking sheet. Once they’re flat, spray the top of them with more cooking spray.
*Sprinkle salt over top (I usually dump about 1 TBL of salt in my palm, taking a ‘pinch’ size and sprinkling that on top of the seeds until it looks like enough. Some like them salty..I like them with just a hint of salt flavor.)
*Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
*Let cool and enjoy!
You are not going to believe this. No, really..I didn’t either. This delicious fruit dip is made with something you would never guess. I’m a little hesitant to even tell you what it is because I don’t want to scare you off. However, I will. But before I do, let me just tell you how yummy this is. It’s YUMMY!! ok..I’ll tell you more. It’s absolutely delicious!! We love to dip fruit chunks in it..apples, pineapple, bananas..it’s all good. If we’re really crazy, we dip crackers in it. (see photos for proof of our dipping craziness.) Ok..are you ready for the secret ingredient? Here it is……….drum roll please……………garbanzo beans. There. I said it. Now, before you run away and hide..just give it a try. It truly is tasty, and healthy, for you. I stumbled upon this recipe here, at Chocolate Covered Katie. And while you’re there, take a look around. Her stuff will blow your socks off. For reals..she’s genius when it comes to making healthy dishes that also taste fantastic. 🙂
Ok..on to the recipe:
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup plus 3T nondairy milk (I used 1%. It’s all I had)
2/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Optional: I add 1/4 cup flaxmeal for omega 3s and a fun texture (you can also add quick oats!)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Now, if you’ll notice, mine turned out a little more creamy then hers. That’s because I didn’t have any flaxmel and didn’t use quick oats. Next time, I think I will use the oats. Also..how could I not have any chocolate chips on hand!? That should be illegal!!! Next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I’ll be adding these for sure.
Very yum! Just sayin’…
Yes, I did say ‘smizzola’. What? It’s fun to say new words. Especially when trying to rhyme with “granola”. (Don’t judge..not as easy as you might think..) Getting off topic here.. moving on..
This weekend was Memorial day. Usually that is associated with bbq’s and gatherings with yummy, tantalizing food that you just can’t say no to. However, here…it snowed. I know, right!? Who ordered that?! Actually, I love the cooler weather, so I was completely A-OK with it. For our Memorial day feast, we enjoyed….wait for it……..Granola!! Fresh from the oven, it truly was a treat to nibble on. Loaded with dried cranberries, dried blueberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and oatmeal, this granola deserves a little smizzola. 😀
(original recipe found here, at Two Peas and Their Pod. My modifications are in parentheses.)
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds (I used sunflower seeds instead, both would be amazing and a little extra crunch)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T dark brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T canola oil
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raisins (I used 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and 1/3 cup dried blueberries…YUM!!!)
* In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almonds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar together.
* In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, agave nectar, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. I do this with my clean hands.
* Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally. (I stirred every 7 minutes or so, and took it out of the oven for good at around 22 minutes.) Take the granola out as soon as it starts to brown.
* Stir in the raisins (blueberries/cranberries) and cool completely. Store in an air tight container.
In the past when I’ve made granola, it never turned out, thanks to overcooking. The trick to making granola is to take it out of the oven right when it starts to brown. It may still feel a little moist, but it will crispen and dry as it cools. So don’t fret, it will turn out. 😀 And when it does, you’ll be doing the Granola-Smizzola dance in your kitchen, too!! 🙂
What I love about granola is the many ways you can use it. Top yogurt in the morning for breakfast, mix it into a salad for a crispy punch, eat it by the handfuls for a tasty snack..there is no end to what you can do with granola. Now..go..dance..rhyme words..
There really are no words to say how yummy this bread is. I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time, but have been just a little..nervous. I mean, it’s bread. On the other hand..it’s raisin bread. 😀 So when my hubby came home one day and said that he needed to take some bread to a work lunch, I knew this is what I wanted to make. I didn’t have a recipe for it though, so I went online and found this one at Allrecipes that I thought would work. Bingo!! It more then worked!! 4 loaves later, I can officially say this is my favorite bread to make. Since my kids don’t like raisins, we left those out of 2 loaves..the result? Again..delicious! 😀 Light and airy with a hint of sweetness..this bread is sure to please.
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup raisins
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
*Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
*Dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
*Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
*Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough. Roll up tightly; the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again for 1 hour.
*Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine. Let cool before slicing.
This recipe makes 2 loaves. Double the goodness! 🙂
YUM!! Perfect as toast for breakfast, or for a little treat during the busy day.
I love the citrus flavors you can add to muffins. Usually, I add lemon, but when I saw this recipe here, I knew I had to try it. There’s just something inviting about a muffin with a citrus flavor, mixed with blueberries. The orange zest used in this muffin gives it a tangy zing, but not overpower the flavor of the sweet blueberries.
- Grated zest and juice of one orange
- About 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking power
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
- Turbinado sugar, for topping
*Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
*In a two cup glass measuring cup, add the orange juice and enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey, and melted butter.
*In a large bowl, rub the orange zest and sugar together with your fingers. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
*Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Top the muffins with turbinado sugar. Bake until muffin tops are golden and springy to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
Why, hello there. Let me introduce you to my newest BFF. Enter: Lemon Poppyseed Muffin. Light, moist, bursting with lemon-y flavor. What’s not to love? These muffin are so easy to make, which means you can have them any time of the day. Or, if you’re like me, even as a midnight snack. Topped with a lemon glaze, these muffins are sure to become your new BFF, too! This recipe was found here, at Annie’s Eats, a fantastic food blog that makes me want to drool. 😀 What I love about these is the use of yogurt!! (Shhh..a secret ingredient) Simply amazing!!
For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
For the glaze (optional):
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
*Preheat the oven to 350˚.
*Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
*Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
*Stir briefly to combine.
*In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. *Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
*Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.
*With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.
*Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full.
* Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*While the muffins are still warm, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make the glaze. Drizzle a small amount of the glaze over each muffin. Let the glaze set before serving.
One of my all time, favorite, bestest lunch ever: Flatbread pizza. Let me tell you why.
1. it’s easy
2. it’s filing
3. it’s easy to switch it up so I never get bored
4. it’s easy
5. it’s easy
6. it’s easy
Lunch time is my hardest meal. Middle of the day, don’t want to spend a lot of time making something, and I want to make sure it’s healthy and filling to last me until dinner. Because let’s face it..if I can’t make it until dinner..I’ll go on a rampage looking into every closet and cupboard in the house trying to find something, ANYTHING, to satisfy my growling, neglected stomach. So, flatbread pizza is a staple for me. (and my stomach).
1 pita (not split)
cheese (what ever amount you like. Some like it cheesy while others like just a dusting of cheese.)
3 Tablespoons spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Any pizza toppings you like
*preheat oven to 400*
*on a sprayed or parchemnt lined cookie sheet, place the pita
*spray both sides of the pita with cooking spray
*place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, take out, flip over, put back in the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes, or just until it’s crispy. (Watch carefully so it won’t burn.)
*when the pita is the desired crispiness for a crust, take out of oven, and reduce heat to 350*
*add the spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning and any other seasoning you’d like
*sprinkle a bit of cheese on top of the spaghetti sauce
*add the pizza toppings of your choice. For the pizza shown below, I used: pineapple tidbits, onions, and cubed chicken (already cooked).
*top with additional cheese
*with the pizza still on the cookie sheet, place back in the oven and bake until cheees is melted and bubbly and pizza is heated through.
*take out of oven and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into wedges
Easy-peasy and oh so filling. The crust is crisp and perfectly baked while the toppings are full of favor, which gives your tastebuds a little reason to celebrate. Perfect for lunch, dinner or even a snack.
Hello, my dear peach friend. Why are you so delicious and hard to stop gulping by the gallon?? It can only mean one thing: I have found my new favorite summer time drink. Not only is this sucker good for you, but it’s very refreshing and creamy. Wonderful for breakfast, a mid-day snack, even a late night sneaky treat. 😀
1 small container Peach yogurt
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
6 ice cubes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 fresh peach, cut into sections (skin removed. You can use fresh, canned, etc..)
*Combine everything in a blender.
*Mix until ice cubes are crushed into small chunks
Oh my. If this doesn’t say “EAT ME”, I’m not sure what will. (Well, other then something chocolate-y, of course..) This salsa is what I grew up with. My mom would make it often, and I would scarf..I mean..eat it properly, as fast as she made it. One of my favorite things. The way I make it is not spicy at all. In fact, I don’t add any spices or seasonings. Simply tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. (hence the name: ‘Easies’t Salsa Ever. 😀 Genius, I know.)
5 tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
Combine all ingedients into a medium bowl. Mix well.
See!? Super easy! Now, if you like spice..go ahead and add it. If you want to squeeze some lime juice in there..be my guest. Add some finely chopped peppers if your heart desires. That’s the great thing about this salsa..it’s SO easy to create and make it your own. Plus, it’s amazing served up with Homemade Tortilla Chips or crackers. YUM!! Let me say it again, just so you hear me…YUM!! 😀